She took a deep breath before walking into the room that held her next series of torture.
”Where have you been? I called for you ten minutes ago! ” Luna Sophia yelled.
”Yes maam. Thats because you said I should be here in ten minutes, ” the girl said to her, not bothering to keep the displeasure out of her tone.
The room was spacious, as that of a princess. Every piece of furniture in it was brown. The Luna was sitting on the large bed which belonged to her daughter. Each time she came in there, Rylee hated the room more. With each look, glance, gaze she had of the sheets, the shelf, the reading table, she despised both the room and its current occupants.
”All these years and you still refuse to tame that mouth of yours, ” Luna Sophia hissed as she advanced toward the slave girl. Angry, she raised her hand to strike her.
”No, Mother, ” her daughter said, causing her hand to stop midair. Rylee spared the fair princess a glance before facing her mother again.
Cassandra smirked. ”Let her come to me instead, ” she told her mother. Rylee sighed before approaching the princess. Cassandras plain brown orbs pierced through Rylees sapphire ones.
”What may I do for you, Your Highness? ” Rylee forced herself to say. It was either that or they would continue to waste her time.
”Kneel, ” Cassandra ordered. Her eye twitched, but Rylee knelt, bowing her face to the ground.
”Youve gotten better, ” the princess said as she circled her serving girl. ”Thats good. After all, we wouldn want you getting punished for insubordination. Would we, Mother? ”
”I would, ” her mother said with a sneer.
Cassandra clapped her hands briskly. ”Chop, chop, servant. You have a lot to do this afternoon. ” Rylee let out a breath. She already knew what the next series of chores were. ”You will wash my sheets and change them with new ones. You will clean this entire room before coming down to my dressing room to make sure my dressing will be as stress-free as possible. ”
Who the hell needs others to help them dress up? Rylee wondered. This was the same thing she asked herself whenever Cassandra listed that as a chore.
”…and you must make sure you
e by my side tonight at the party. I wouldn want to move around so much when there are things you can easily get for me, ” Cassandra finished.
”Party? ” Rylee asked, unsure if she heard well.
”Yes, a party. Why do you seem excited? ” Cassandra asked, showing her confusion. Rylee was usually scared of parties because she always worked more there.
”Uh, I don have a dress to wear to the party, ” Rylee told her. ”You burned all of them two days ago. ”
Mother and daughter exchanged glances before bursting into laughter.
”Who cares about that? You
e not invited. You will be there simply to serve my daughter, ” Luna Sophia reminded her with a wicked smile.
”I know, Your Highness. But you also say I should never show up to a party in tattered clothes because you wouldn want people to complain about the way I smell. ”
”Thats true, Mother. I can barely manage being in the same room as her, ” Cassandra said with her nose closed.
Luna Sophia slit her eyes. She was used to the maid talking sometimes but this was the first time she said so many words in one meeting. Regardless, she decided to heed her daughter. ”Very well, then. You can get a manageable dress and a little deodorant from the servants store- ”
She was interrupted by the serving girls thanks. ”Thank you very much, Your Highness. ”
The Luna ignored her and went on with her earlier statement. ”You would be allowed this only if you finish all your chores for today at the time stipulated. Otherwise you won be attending at all. ” She turned to leave the room when she faced Rylee again. ”Oh, and don forget you have to join them in the kitchen as well. ” Mother and daughter left the room for her to start her chores.
Rylee burst into a fit of giggles when she was sure she was alone. ”Finally, ” she whispered to herself.
Looking around, it finally dawned on her why the Luna and her daughter were sure she wouldn finish on time. ”This room is a mess! ” she exclaimed, facepalming. Nevertheless, she took out the sheets to wash first. Thankfully, Cassandra wasn someone who liked smearing her sheets. She could put anything in shambles, but not the fabric she laid on at night.
Thirty minutes later, Rylee was back in the room to clean up. Staring at the scattered toys, the spilled makeup, and the ruffled clothes on the floor. The room was massive and with each corner she turned to, there was more work to be done. It only made her hate the family more, especially her mistress.
”The work can do itself, unfortunately, ” she said to herself in a bid to motivate. She had started sweeping when she realized what the Luna meant when she reminded her of her kitchen duty. The cooking was being done while she cleaned. ”She wanted me to be stuck here cleaning, so theyll say I didn complete my chores, ” it dawned on her.
Tears ran down her cheeks. All she wanted was to attend the party, even if she were to be serving Cassandra while there. She was tired of being hidden. And she just wanted to see a few new faces. It had been two months since the last party they had, and that was when she finally appreciated their unnecessarily frequent parties. But at least they were better than living the same way all the time.
Luna Sophia was doing this not because she didn want her daughter to be served at the party, and it wasn that she wanted to pass up an opportunity to deny the girl some rest. ”Its just because I would be attending by choice this time, ” Rylee realized. But she wasn having it. Those chores would be completed one way or another.
The maids cheek stung, but she didn move.
”Why haven you worked on this room?! ” the Luna thundered, but Rylee didn say anything. She simply stood there, trying to contain her tears.
”My mother asked a question, ” Cassandra said with a sly smile.
The Luna struck the maid again, this time, pushing her to the knees. ”I demand answers. ”
I won cry in front of them. Thats one thing I do, Rylee kept telling herself. The tears were at the brink of escape, but she would never let them. She preferred to keep quiet. Opening her mouth would do nothing but give those two the satisfaction they wanted.
Luna Sophia grabbed her in the arm and pulled her up. She could already guess where they were headed. It was either the dungeon or that horrid room of hers. Either way, she just wanted to be alone, so she let herself be pulled to wherever they decided to take her.
On their way, they passed Ash, Cassandras brother. ”Hey, Brother! ” Cassandra greeted cheerfully as they walked past him.
He waved, but turned promptly as soon as Rylee came into view. Occasionally, he pitied her. She was maltreated more than the other servants but that was the only way to keep them in check.
You know that isn the reason you pity her, his wolf told him.
Yes, it is, Kendrick. She might be beautiful, but she is nothing but a servant! Ash said, annoyed that this topic was coming up again.
You can keep denying that she is your mate. You knew this since you came of age and youve been pulled to her since then. I have been pulled to her as well but it keeps increasing by the day.
Whats that supposed to mean? Ash asked him, afraid of what he might hear.
She will wake soon. I can feel it. You have to decide on what youll do when that happens. I would say you get past your disgust for her status. She was given to us by the moon goddess for a reason. And shes not even ugly, Kendrick advised.
That isn in your place to say, Kendrick. Ill figure out something when the time comes but like I keep telling you, I will not insult myself with a serving girl.
”No party for you,
” Cassandra taunted, wagging her tongue at her maid.
”Next time, maybe youll do as you
e told. ”
Rylees body was red from cane marks. Her lips were blistered from too much biting but the party that hurt her the most were the tears. They fell like broken walls, unable to stop pouring out like they had a fountain supply.
When she was satisfied with her work, the luna and her daughter left her in her little room to hate them and herself some more.
The little light that poured into her closet woke her up. Feeling her body, the events of the day before came crashing into her memory. She gritted her teeth. If only there was a way to leave.
Hello, my lady, a voice said in her head. Rylee was confused a first but it soon dawned on her. It was her eighteenth birthday, the one day she had been looking forward to. The only explanation for that voice would be that it was her…
e my wolf, she said to the voice.
Yes, my lady. Ava is my name.
It was strange. Her wolf sounded so elegant and so polite. Uh, hi. Im Ryan Lee but you can just call me Rylee.
It might have been her birthday but there was still work to do and chores to be attended to. As she got ready: pouring cold water on her body and wincing at the sting from the cuts, she engaged with her wolf, getting to know her more. She wore her tattered dress. There was no need to wear the even worse sandals as she knew there was not going to be no reason for her to leave the compound.
Cassandra was awake when Rylee got to her room. ”Good morning, Miss, ” the serving girl greeted her.
e here. You
e in luck today. Mother and I will be gone for most of the morning and a bit of the afternoon. ” She expected to see some relief on the other girls face but there was nothing. ”Anyway, just complete everything you had to do yesterday and arrange my closet. Wash my clothes too. If youve done well by the time we get back, I might consider letting you have the day off. ” Again, she expected the servant to grovel but she received nothing. Staring at her strangely, Cassandra made to leave the room.
”Im to serve your breakfast. Should I do that first or do you prefer me to go on with yesterdays unfinished work? ” Rylee asked suddenly, bitterness dripping from her voice.
”Just leave the breakfast alone. ”
As Rylee did the last of the dusting, she kept talking to yo Ava, but out loud this time. ”I have it here. I need to leave this place as soon as possible before I lose my mind. I want to have a better life than this. I want to have a mate of my own. In tired of having Cassandra flaunt herds in my faint. I want someone who will love and respect me, ” she said with anger.
As she looked around to make sure everything was in place, a whiff of wet earth filled her nostrils. She loved wet earth. It was a habit of hers to stand in the rain too. The sound of a heartbeat a bit fat off filled her ears. Before she could stop herself, Rylee followed the scent and the sound of the heartbeat.
She found herself at the back of the courtyard, staring as Ash kissed some girl with ferocity. Confused, she was about to leave when Ava screamed, Mate!
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